The Poppy

Poppy & Remembrance

Q. What does the Poppy represent?

A. The Poppy is the international symbol of Remembrance.

Q. Why should I wear a Poppy?

A. When you wear a Poppy or display a wreath, you honour the war dead and help ex-service personnel and their dependents.

Q. Who Should Wear a Poppy?

A. Everyone should be encouraged to wear a Poppy as it is a way for all Canadians to honour the memory of the thousands of Canadians who gave their lives in the defence of freedom. This freedom, however, also means having the right to choose and it is a person’s right not to wear a Poppy if they choose not to.

Q. When is a Poppy worn?

A. There is no set period when the Poppy should be worn. In fact, a person may wear a Poppy at any time. Traditionally, however, the Poppy is worn during the Remembrance period, which is from the last Friday in October to the end of the day on 11 November. It is also suggested that Poppies be worn at other commemorative events throughout the year, such as the Battle of the Atlantic, the Battle of Britain, a memorial service at a Legion Convention and other similar occasions.The Poppy is also worn by Colour Parties when on parade and by members attending funeral services for veterans.

Q. How is the Poppy worn ?

A. The Poppy is always worn on the left breast, close to the heart. In inclement weather, the lapel Poppy is worn on the left side of the outer garment.

Q. Can I attach the Poppy to clothing with another type of pin?

A. There have been many queries related to the wearing of the lapel Poppy, specifically as it relates to using a Canada flag pin or other such fastening device in the center of the Poppy.

It is the position of the Legion that the Poppy is the sacred symbol of Remembrance and should not be defaced in any way. No other pin, therefore, should be used to attach it to clothing.

While this should be the practice of all Legionnaires, it is recognized that the Legion cannot control its form of wear by the public. It is undoubtedly better to wear a Poppy with a Canadian flag in the center than not to wear a Poppy at all. The best that we can do is to encourage Legionnaires to wear it properly

We are constantly seeking ways to improve the quality of the Lapel Poppy fastener and suggestions are always welcome. We have tried a protective sheath, which was placed over the end of the Poppy pin. There were 100,000 in circulation. The Legion branches were requested to report on the acceptance or rejection of this initiative and the vast majority reported that the sheath was rejected as Canadians preferred to receive the Poppy in its traditional form.

Q. Are other types of Poppies available?

A. While the Lapel Poppy is the most popular, the Legion also has car Poppies, large table Poppies and a metal lapel Poppy pin with the words “We Remember” in a bottom banner. All items are available through local Legion branches.

A Poppy sticker suitable for placing on clothing continues to be investigated. The current Poppy stickers are intended for use on stationary only and may cause damage if placed on certain articles of clothing.

Q. When should a Poppy be removed?

A. The lapel Poppy is worn throughout the whole of the Remembrance period. While it is normally removed at the end of the day on 11 November, many people now place their Poppy at the base of the cenotaph at the end of the Remembrance Day Ceremony as a sign of respect to veterans. This is fully acceptable.

Q. Is the Poppy center green or black?

A. The centre of the Lapel Poppy was originally black but was changed to green more than twenty years ago to represent the green fields of France. In 2002, the centre was changed back to black to reflect the actual colours of the Poppies in Flanders a red flower with a black centre. It is intended that the black centre will remain as the standard for the production of all future Poppy material.

Q. What is Remembrance Day?

A. Remembrance Day, in one form or another, is celebrated by most countries in the world but at varying times. From a Canadian perspective, it is celebrated in recognition of the time the armistice came into effect – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – when the guns of the First World War fell silent. As this was the war to end all wars it was this time that was selected and has remained so since.

The need for Remembrance Day was in response to a requirement for people to come together to express their grief on the loss of so many loved ones and to remember. In the words of King George V, 11 November, “…is the anniversary of the armistice which stayed the world-wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of right and freedom. I believe that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that great deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.” This day “..affords an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling.”

Q. How is Remembrance perpetuated?

A. One of the issues for The Royal Canadian Legion is the task that we face to keep the tradition of Remembrance relevant in the 21st Century. This can only be done through the cooperation of persons such as yourself who recognize the need for Remembrance. We have also partnered with other organizations and government departments to encourage the teaching of history in our schools and to develop learning materials and teaching aids. We, as an organization, remain committed to doing all that we can to achieve this goal.

Q. What is the annual Poppy Campaign?

A. Each Legion branch organizes an annual campaign to provide Canadians with an opportunity to obtain and wear a Poppy. This is done by Legion members, often assisted by youth groups such as cadets and scouts, who volunteer to conduct door-to-door canvassing and set-up locations throughout the community where individuals may obtain a Poppy. Many commercial businesses also welcome Poppy trays in their outlets to assist the Legion with this important work.

Q. How much do Poppies cost?

A. Poppies are never sold or purchased – people make a contribution for the Poppy they wear.

Q. How much should I give?

A. We suggest that you give according to the dictates of your conscience. As with most things, the cost of all benefits the Poppy Fund provides for our veterans continues to rise, therefore, it takes more money to do the same job. When you give to the Poppy Campaign, you are remembering the sacrifices of the war dead but are also helping the living and the dependants of those who have served our country.

Q. Are campaign expenses high?

A. Campaign expenses are unusually low because most of the work is voluntary.

Q. Does all the money raised through the distribution of Poppies and Wreaths go

into Poppy Funds?

A. After expenses are deducted, such as the cost of poppies, wreaths and other supplies, all remaining monies are placed in trust to be used in the benevolent support of veterans and their dependants and in the promotion of Remembrance.

Q. How is the Poppy money held?

A. The Legion’s constitution stresses that Poppy Funds must be held in trust. They are subscribed to by the public, are held in a bank account separate from that of the branch and cannot be used for any purpose other than those stipulated.

Q. Do you have to be a Legion member to get help from the Poppy Fund?

A. No. Any ex-serviceman or woman or dependant is eligible to apply for financial aid from Poppy Funds. The Poppy Funds also support the Legion Service Bureau, and a large number of Service Bureau cases involve people who are not Legion members.

Q. Are there any other uses for Poppy Funds?

A. Yes. Poppy Funds can be used for low-rental housing and care facilities, community medical appliances and medical research, drop-in centres, meals-on-wheels, transportation and related services for veterans and their dependants. These facilities and services are often extended to the elderly or disabled in the community as may be available in conjunction with veterans. Donations may also be given for relief of disasters declared by the federal or provincial governments.

Q. How do I help needy ex-service personnel and their dependants?

A. The basic purpose of Poppy Funds is to provide immediate assistance to ex-servicemen and women in need. This may include food, shelter or medical attention for them or their families. Also, education bursaries are granted to children and grandchildren of ex-service personnel.

Q. When can I make a donation to the Poppy Trust Fund?

A. You can make a donation at any time throughout the year.

Q. How can I donate to the Poppy fund?

A. You can make a cheque or money order payable to the “Poppy Trust Fund” and give it to your local Legion Branch or mail it to one of the Legion’s Provincial Commands.



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